It seems to me that most people looking into Claudius Boatman, who was born in France and lived in Pennsylvania during Revolutionary times, are people, like me, interested in finding out something about my ancestors. Descendants who’ve heard stories, or amateur genealogists and family history buffs who have researched back through the relatives until they’ve found this colorful character.
Once we find Claudius in Pennsylvania in the 1700’s, there is a wealth of information and research to sort out ~ A few little known facts, for starters:
- Most of Claudius’ children were born in New York.
- The Boatman family, after arrival in the Colonies, lived first in New Rochelle, but spent 12 to 17 years near Warwick.
- Claudius did not live to 113 or even 103, but most likely died at the age of about 91.
- Claudius settled, in Pennsylvania, first near present day Danville, then in Buffalo Valley area near Derrstown during the conflicts with the loyalists and Indians during the Revolution, before moving to what is now Lycoming county.
We live in a wonderful time for genealogy and family history, and have so much information available to us – it’s a great time to sort out the fact from the fiction. No offense is intended but while Claudius and family have been the subject of much wonderful research, some researchers of the past didn’t have the data available today. Others, perhaps, didn’t have an understanding of the times or area to examine and make sense of his life. We’ve been left with conflicting information; I hope to make sense of it all by putting Claudius’ life in an historical as well as a genealogical perspective.
I would know nothing if others hadn’t done so much work before me and both preserved and shared their information ~ both those long gone and my contemporaries of today! Their work has helped me immensely, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Hopefully this site will help other cousins who have a yearning to know more about Claudius Boatman. I hope you’ll share, too, and source this site so that others can find it.
Here, I’m starting with what I know – and my hope is that other family and researchers will enthusiastically chime in and add to what I’ve started here. Yep, there’s a “catch.” I want to share what I’ve found, in the hope you’ll share back! If you’re a Pennsylvania Boatman and can take photos or share newspaper clippings, I’d love to hear from you. If any cousins have a dusty old box of stuff somewhere in a garage or attic, dig it out and go through it…let’s share and question, and argue points…and leave no possible evidence unturned.
If you’re looking for definitive answers on Claudius Boatman, you’ll find most of my information very well sourced…in family history, what isn’t sourced is always doubtful, so keep that in mind, as well. You’ll probably find as many questions here as you’ll find answers. I hope you’ll join in the discussion – two heads are better than one, and I don’t know how many descendants there are of Claudius Boatman, but it must number into the thousands!
Let’s take Claudius out of his genealogical “box” and find the man behind the myth! Let’s dispel what can’t possibly be true and search for what is, and put together a comprehensive portrait of our ancestor. My greatest hope, here, is that we’ve (all the collective genealogists and cousins who’ve shared over the years) started to put together the facts of Claudius’ life in a way that he, himself, would recognize.
My greatest fear: That someone reading this, knowing more than myself, might read it and think, “Boy, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about!” If I’ve gone astray, anywhere, please update me – I’d consider it a blessing to be corrected rather than travel forward in ignorance!
By the way, Claudius Boatman is my 5th Great Grandfather, and I know I “share” him with hundreds of descendants, perhaps thousands – hello, cousins, and welcome! Take what you need from here – and if you have some additional information, or corrections, please leave it here, and again, please source this site as you do. I’d like every Boatman descendant to be able to visit!
I’ve had a lot of fun researching Claudius, and am pleased to share everything I’ve learned, much of it due to other researchers before me – please feel free to use anything on this site – I do ask you to source it, though, so others may find it. And please, share what you know in the same spirit this has been shared – I welcome all thoughts and discussion. mvkirby – I can be emailed directly at firstname.lastname@example.org